Fighting for freerecyling

Why is this blog so biased?

Statistics for the Utterly Confused
Image by inju via Flickr

I am sure that some people read this blog and want it to become a much more impartial player in the freecycling world.  It is sometimes asserted (in comments on this blog) that the numbers I produce are incorrect and possibly inflated, and possibly on one side of the debate.

Well, I make no apologies that I am interested in promoting “free” freecycling, and that is at complete odds with everything TFN stands for and has done ever since Deron started down his trademarking route.

As for the numbers, providing good statistics is a big effort.  Let me take one example.  If you search on Yahoo Groups for groups that have been taken away from Yahoo and migrated onto MyFreecycle a good search term might include the words “freeyccle” and “moved”, and right now that returns 369 groups.  So you might decide that 369 groups have moved.

In truth however only a proportion of those groups have been moved.  There are some groups that are hardly anything to do with freecycling on that list.  There are also freecycling groups that simply have those words in their text.  And finally there are also stub groups  created by TFN, by Freegle and other networks in a kind of group name gold rush.

Now if you were able to analyse all all these pluses and minuses you would come up with a truer answer, that is correct.  However I doubt if you went to Deron and asked for his number that you would ever get the same answer.  Statistics just don’t work out so tidily.

And so to my numbers?  I worry not so much about absolute numbers, providing I can back up each number, publicly with the method by which it was achieved such that others can replicate it.  Not only that each can criticize it for its strengths and weaknesses, they can also offer alternative and better strategies for unearthing the “truth”.  then that is fine by me.

And that is what this blog is about – stimulating debate about a very important subject.

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September 21, 2009 Posted by | freecycle | , | Leave a comment